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Old 03-25-2006, 03:27 AM   #1
08tdlese
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Default Need Help with Changing half shaft, Wheel Bearing. etc

I've got a 96 SL1 with 140k miles on it, and upon hearing a growling noise, i found that the passenger side front wheel bearing was trashed. ALSO, i noted the outer tie rod endlink was junk, and the boot on the half shaft was ripped (gasp!) Anyways, any tips on replacing the half shaft? At this point, i'm guessing that i need to pull the whole spindle off of the car in order to replace it.

Has anyone replaced this half shaft?

Has anyone tried to replace the "press fit" wheel bearing?

Does the wheel speed sensor just unbolt with the one bolt and pull off? (it doesn't just wanna come off for some reason....)

Thanks. trevor.
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need Help with Changing half shaft, Wheel Bearing. etc

You'll need:

A rebuilt halfshaft for the CORRRECT SIDE and for a car with ABS.

The ABS sensor itself is mounted to the STRUT, no need to remove it if you are only going to change the halfshaft, if you are removing the knuckle, see below how to get the sensor off. The sensor "ring" (looks like a gear with a whole bunch of teeth) is built into the halfshaft, that is why the replacement unit MUST be for a car with ABS.

To change the halfshaft:

(Since you are doing the PASSENGER SIDE ONLY you DO NOT need to drain the transaxle.

With the car still on the ground, remove the hub cap or alloy wheel center cap and use a 30mm socket to LOOSEN (not remove) the axle nut.
Jack up the passenger side of the car and support it with a jackstand.
Remove the lugnuts and wheel
Remove the brake caliper guide and lock pins, (make note of how the brake hose is routed so you can put it back on the correct way!) and pull the caliper off the rotor. (DO NOT remove the brake line!) Wire the caliper up out of the way.
Remove the cotter pin and castelated nut on the outer tierod end. Put the nut back on upside down LOOSELY. Place a block of wood over the nut and then WHACK the block of wood with a hammer. The tierod end will pop out of the knuckle and the nut will prevent it from falling down. Now remove the nut and the tierod end will drop right out of the knuckle.

Remove the cotter pin and castelated nut from the ball joint. Place about a 4 foot long 2x4 or STRONG piece of steel pipe OVER the lower control arm and UNDER the engine cradle (so that you can pry DOWN on the control arm) While prying DOWN on the control arm (an assistant will be of great help here) WHACK the SIDE of the KNUCKLE where the balljoint goes through. The ball joint will release and the control arm will lower. It will want to go back up from the pressure of the sway bar, don't let it, just swing the entire lower part of the strut/knuckle enough to one side to prevent that.

Place your wood block over the exposed halfshaft end (where you took off the nut) and WHACK the WOOD with a hammer. The half shaft will come loose from the knuckle. Move the lower strut/knuckle outward and off to one side to fully release it.

Now place your wood block on the METAL portion of the halfshaft where it inserts into the intermeadiate shaft (so you can drive the shaft TOWARD the WHEEL WELL) again hit the WOOD with a hammer and the halfshaft will pop right out of the intermeadiate shaft.

TO remove the KNUCKLE.
The ABS sensor is held on by a RIVET. Chisel or grind off the rivet head (CAREFULLY!! DO NOT DAMAGE THE PLASTIC SENSOR!!!) and remove the sensor after unplugging it from the wiring harness.
Remove the three bolts under the hood that secure the top of the STRUT to the strut mount.
Remove the strut, knuckle and rotor/rotor mount as an assembly.

You can now unbolt the knuckle from the strut much easier than with it in the car.

New bearings MUST BE PRESSED IN. This REQUIRES the use of the CORRECT ARBORS and a PRESS. (They CANNOT BE DRIVEN IN! Do so, and the new bearings WILL FAIL quite quickly)

Assembly is reverse (LOL) Torque specs are available in the "How To Library)

Use NEW cotter pins on the Tierod and balljoint studs. If the tierod does NOT have a cotter pin (some OEM don't) the NUT itself MUST BE REPLACED. It is a SINGLE USE friction nut.

When inserting the new halfshaft, coat the splines with grease and be careful not to damage the splines. Insert it into the intermediate shaft and push it in until you feel a "click!" and the internal snap ring locks it in place.

NOTE: Removal of the knuckle from the strut will REQUIRE a front end alignment be performed afterwards. No If, ands, or buts.
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Old 03-25-2006, 01:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need Help with Changing half shaft, Wheel Bearing. etc

wow, that's quite a descriptive procedure. Since i'm without a book, thanks a ton for the much needed info, especially on the abs sensor (who would've known a rivet was there). thanks. trevor.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need Help with Changing half shaft, Wheel Bearing. etc

i have a good knuckle and axle if you want to go used. ps the abs sensor is held in place with a 10mm bolt, not a rivet.. i'm not sure where that misinformation came from.. there is also a pin on the back of the sensor (its all plastic) that goes in a hole in the knuckle and serves to secure the sensor at the correct distance from the sensor wheel on the axle. problem is they are usually locked in place due to rust and snap off.. try wd40 or similar and careful rotating/prying, if it brakes you can usually just carefully bolt it back in proper position, if you decided to actually replace bearings you could probably leave sensor in place and just disconnect wiring connector located on inside shock tower.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need Help with Changing half shaft, Wheel Bearing. etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnhacker
ps the abs sensor is held in place with a 10mm bolt, not a rivet.. i'm not sure where that misinformation came from.
If Wolfman says that the thing is held on by a rivet, I would tend to believe him. He's posted reams more excellent and reliable information on this web site than ... other people have. Perhaps you're seeing a 10MM bolt because the rivet was previously removed and replaced with the bolt.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need Help with Changing half shaft, Wheel Bearing. etc

oh, ok then.. i'm an independent tech working on almost nothing but saturns for over 8 years, i have also repaired hundreds of collision damaged saturns and dismantle these cars for parts. but it you want to believe someone simply because he posts a lot, then be my guest, i'm not really sure why I bother to post here..
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